Recipe: Easy Thai Curry

Thai curry sounds exotic and complicated, but in truth it's a quick meal for which you can keep the bulk of ingredients in your pantry or freezer, plus it’s a great option for using up leftovers. If you can't find it in your supermarket, you can order a variety of curries online for under $12. Vary up the main protein and vegetables based on what’s in your fridge. The basic formula calls for one pound of a protein (tofu, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Bread and Butter Pickles

I'm not going to lie, nor do I think that I should feel shame at the confession I'm about to reveal. Mom fed us Velveeta when we were kids - and we liked it.  Who could blame her? The stuff was marketed as a superfood in the 1960s and early '70s. Only later did people begin a collective wonder whether a shelf-stable "cheese food" was a particularly good notion. It's hard to argue against one thing: Velveeta melts … [Read more...]

Recipes & Fundamentals: Using a Whole Chicken

On Wednesday I bought a chicken on sale for 99 cents a pound, and cut it up, shaving off the breasts to reserve the back for stock. It left two hearty chicken breasts nearly 14 ounces each, or about eight servings in all. I cut up the back, roasted it to a dark brown, then added it with half an onion, all the skins from the onions I’ve used in the past week, a garlic clove, a carrot and a celery stalk in an eight-quart … [Read more...]

Recipe: Cabbage & Chicken Stir-Fry

       Breakfast: A simple omelet that we shared with a bit of asparagus, a few cherry tomatoes and basil (from my plant). Cost: $1.74.   Snacks: We finished off our cottage cheese today, made a dent in our applesauce and a box of Ok-Mok crackers. Total cost for the day for meals, snacks, coffee at breakfast and dinner for our friend: $11.26 Observations: This week I've realized how reliant I am on what’s in my … [Read more...]

Recipes: Deviled Eggs & Easy Thai Curry

Tofu is widely regarded with suspicion by those on low-income budgets as it can smack of sprout-loving vegans, but I think it’s often overlooked. It’s high in protein, low in fat, endlessly versatile and inexpensive, about $1.50 a pound, or 38 cents per four-ounce serving. What to do with it? Mike makes great Thai food, so I’ve never tried it. But inspired by the most recent issue of Fine Cooking, I wanted to see if Thai … [Read more...]

Two People, $12 Per Day For Food

So yesterday, Mike and I started our annual Hunger Action Week cooking strategy. As part of our agreement, we will eat $12 per day at home, the amount that couples receive on food assistance. Breakfast: Mike started the day by making bread using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day strategy. Homemade bread is one of the greatest money-saving strategies and the no-knead versions offer the chance to keep the dough in … [Read more...]

Hunger Action Week: Can you eat for $3 a day?

When people think about the "poor" or the "hungry," it's often a vague concept that leads to visions of hollow-cheeked Third World children.Here's a fact you may not know. About one in six people in the United States don't have enough to eat. The shifting economy prompted the largest percentage of Americans in history to apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps). In February, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Pasta with olives, tomatoes and tuna

This is a cheap and easy meal to craft from pantry staples. The tuna bumps up the protein quotient, but it's optional. You can use fresh or canned tomatoes, but if you use the latter, be sure to drain them well. Cook the pasta in liberally salted water, and then reserve some of the water for the sauce. Be sure to taste before salting the final product; the salt from the olives and the pasta water may offer plenty without … [Read more...]